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Viagra for women: Does it exist?

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 22, 2023.

Given the success of medicines to treat trouble getting and keeping an erection, called erectile dysfunction, companies have looked for a medicine to help women with sex. Erectile dysfunction medicines include sildenafil (Viagra, Liqrev, Revatio), tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca, Alyq) and vardenafil.

Viagra even has been tried as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in women. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved this use of Viagra.

For years there were no FDA-approved medicines for treating problems with sexual arousal or sexual desire in women. Yet 4 in 10 women report having sexual concerns. The FDA now has approved two medicines.

The FDA has approved a daily pill called flibanserin (Addyi) to treat low sexual desire in women before menopause. This medicine started as a treatment for depression.

Addyi may boost sex drive in women with low sexual desire. It's for women who are not happy with their low sex drive.

Possible serious side effects include low blood pressure, dizziness and fainting. These side effects are more likely to happen if the medicine is mixed with alcohol. The FDA says not to drink alcohol if you take this medicine. Experts suggest that you stop taking the medicine if your sex drive doesn't improve after eight weeks.

The FDA also has approved a medicine given as a shot to treat low sexual desire in women before menopause. Bremelanotide (Vyleesi) is injected under the skin in the belly or thigh at least 45 minutes before having sex. It should not be used more than once a day or more than eight times a month.

Side effects can include nausea, headache, vomiting and reactions at the site of the shot. Talk with your healthcare professional to see if this medicine might be right for you.

Many things affect female sexual response. Sexual problems may be due to trouble with arousal, a lack of desire or both. Many factors can affect sexual desire in women. For example:

If you have trouble with sexual desire or response, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You might want to talk to a sex therapist. Medicines, hormones, creams, lubricants, clitoral stimulation or other treatments sometimes can help.

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